A CREATIVE ageing charity is touring the gardens and car parks of care homes and hospital wards bringing a song and smile to those at risk of isolation.

The charity, Equal Arts is launching a tour known as Keeping Connected, the project sees music from the Singing Hinnies, creative activity packs posted to homes and an Art 2 Art phone support service available to older people in County Durham and Darlington.

Douglas Hunter, Equal Arts Chief Executive, said: “As measures ease for many, for those accessing our services little is changing. The issue and impact of isolation in our communities has been exacerbated by the onset of Covid-19.

“The fall out as measures ease is the impact to mental health and wellbeing. We’ve quickly adapted our services to continue supporting older people in creative ways that can support positive mental health.”

Ted Fletcher Court in Darlington is among the venues run by Darlington Borough Council receiving regular Singing Hinnies garden gigs and remote group creative workshops.

Others benefitting from the project, made possible with funding from Durham Freemasons and County Durham Community Foundation, are patients on Lanchester Road Hospital’s Roseberry Ward, operated by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

The ward provides care for older people with a wide range of mental health difficulties.

To find out more about Equal Arts, call 0191-2611619.